View Full Version : Is Brother Bear the Next Lion King?

03-19-2003, 09:56 PM
USA Today ran an article today on Disney's upcoming film Brother Bear. It marks the first time since the Lion King that all of the characters are animals. Disney seems to think that the story is just as emotional as LK was nearly 10 years ago.


Safari Steve
03-19-2003, 10:31 PM
That's not entirely accurate. The main character is, for a while anyhow, a human, and members of his tribe are featured in the film as well.

03-20-2003, 09:54 AM
I dunno...

I guess to me the tone they're taking sounds a little like the approach they took to Dinosaur! (hey, everyone else is making money on CG Animaiton, let's make one of those) and we all know how well that worked. Making a majority of the characters animals seems (to me) like a minor point compared to telling a compelling story, which most of us won't be able to judge until the film comes out.


Safari Steve
03-20-2003, 11:35 PM
What is the bandwagon being jumped on in this instance? It's traditional hand-drawn animation, the characters are both human and animal, it's set in the pacific northwest, it features Native American motifs, Rook and Took (Canadian Moose) are voiced by Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis --Who's hired them lately?

03-21-2003, 12:07 AM
Okay -- but will it have a great soundtrack with catchy tunes??

03-21-2003, 07:17 AM
Phil Collins is writing the songs and co-writing the score with Mark Mancina whos works include Twister,Days of Thunder,and Speed. According to Animated News, disappointing sessions were held for Disney execs in January 2001, to review the artist's first 6 creations for the film, with the first master song to be recorded two months later:

-a 3'30" introduction song that has yet to be titled
-a little over 1'30" song called Father’s Footsteps
-a long 4' innocuous whiney piece called Grizz's Song, which basically is an elevator music twist on ‘this can’t be my destiny’ really not very pleasant
-the next two were upbeat and fun, think montage sequence showing the pleasures of being a bear, and these were two parts of the Fishing Song, each about 1'30"
-and lastly there was the title song called Brother Bear a long 5'30" apologetic and learning to live with the past song.

The actors signed on for this film include Joaquin Phoenix(who plays Kenai (the Indian boy turned into a bear)... ,Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis who used to play those happy beer-drinking canadians on SCTV and Strange Brew (OK-Ay) play Ruke and Tuke (two comic Canadian mooses), and Jeremy Suarez(who plays Koda). Michael Clarke Duncan is reprtedly invlolved as well.

03-21-2003, 09:13 AM
Hey Steve. Thanks for clarifying the point regarding human characters, which for the most part seem to play a prominent-enough role at the beginning and end of the film.

What is the bandwagon being jumped on in this instance?

My optimism Steve stems from Disney's promise that BB will give audiences that same "you'll laugh, you'll cry" emotional charge as The Lion King. The animation style or quality, or actors for that matter, really don't sway my opinion much. Most of Disney's beloved animated characters have been voiced by lesser known actors, and the quality of animation(whether it be 2D, 3D, or a mixture of both)has not dissapointed me in over a decade. IMHO one of the more important points that seems to have played a larger role in downgrading Disney's once "sure-fire-hit" animated films to ones that are simply "good-enough", is the inability on their part to tell a compelling and emotional story, one that would appeal to a broad range audience. If BB is indeed in the same mold as the Lion King(with Eisner making comparisons as recently as the shareholders meeting), and they aren't pulling our leg, then yes, I'll ride that bandwagon all the way to my local cinema in a heart beat.

Safari Steve
03-21-2003, 09:30 AM
That wasn't what I meant by the "bandwagon" question... I was referring to Sara's post where she said:

I guess to me the tone they're taking sounds a little like the approach they took to Dinosaur! (hey, everyone else is making money on CG Animaiton, let's make one of those) and we all know how well that worked.

What does that mean? I'm really curious.

03-21-2003, 10:19 AM
It means that I read the article to be saying that Disney sees the focus on talking animals as the solution to their somewhat lackluster box office returns, rather than character and story. It's quotes like this one:the outdoorsy Brother Bear will mark the comeback of a studio 'toon tradition as old as Mickey Mouse himself: talking animals as star attractions.That make me think that Disney, at one level or another, sees the format as more important than the content.

Here's another disturbing quote:Disney's new head of feature animation, David Stainton,...says of the film's chatty wildlife, "It's what the audience really loves."Who does he think he's kidding? I don't know about you, but my thought is that if talking animals were what drives the boat, Jungle Book 2 would have been a runaway hit.

I'm hopeful that Brother Bear will be worth seeing, but given Disney's recent history (Lilo notwithstanding), I'm pretty leery.


Safari Steve
03-21-2003, 10:45 AM
Well... it is USA Today...

I understand what you meant now, thanks for clarifying.